As we get into the thick of the NFL offseason, here is a reminder of some of the prominent dates on the upcoming calendar.
Wednesday is the first day that teams are allowed to use the franchise tag on a specific player. Each club is only allotted one tag per year, which can be used as either an exclusive or non-exclusive tag. Here are the specifics for how each tag works. In layman's terms, a franchise tag means that a team gets one-year control of the tagged player and will have to pay him among the elite at his position. CBS Sports compiled a list of potential free agents who could be tagged in the coming weeks.
Below is a list of the remainder of important dates still to come this offseason.
February 15: First day for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.
March 1: Prior to 1:00 p.m. PT, deadline for clubs to designate Franchise or Transition Players.
March 7-9: During the period beginning at 12 noon, New York time, on March 7th and ending at 12:59:59 p.m. PT on March 9th, clubs are permitted to contact, and enter into contract negotiations with the certified agents of players who will become Unrestricted Free Agents upon the expiration of their 2016 player contracts at 1:00 p.m. PT on March 9. However, a contract cannot be executed with a new club until 1:00 p.m. PT on March 9.
During the above two-day negotiating period, no direct contact is permitted between a prospective unrestricted free agent and any employee or representative of a club, other than the player's current club.
March 9: The 2017 League Year and Free Agency period begin at 1:00 p.m. PT.
The first day of the 2017 League Year will end at 8:59:59 p.m. PT on March 9. Clubs will receive a personnel notice that will include all transactions submitted to the League office during the period between 1:00 p.m. PT and 8:59:59 p.m. PT on March 9.
March 26-29: Annual League Meeting, Phoenix, Arizona.
April 3: Clubs that hired a new head coach after the end of the 2016 regular season may begin offseason workout programs.
April 17: Clubs with returning head coaches may begin offseason workout programs.
April 21: Deadline for Restricted Free Agents to sign Offer Sheets.
April 26: Deadline for prior club to exercise Right of First Refusal to Restricted Free Agents.
April 27-29: NFL Draft (Philadelphia). The NFL draft was last held in Philadelphia in 1961, and the first ever NFL draft was held in Philadelphia in 1936.